Scarlet Fever Information

Scarlet Fever Information (based on advice from the Health Protection Hub)
December 2022


Dear Parents/Carers,

You may have heard the sobering news of a six-year-old child dying after contracting a Group A Streptococcus (GAS) infection in an outbreak in a school in Surrey.  The common childhood illness scarlet fever is caused by this bacterium and in the vast majority of cases is a mild illness but can sometimes be more severe.

Signs and symptoms of scarlet fever

The early symptoms of scarlet fever include sore throat, headache, fever, nausea and vomiting. After 12 to 48 hours the characteristic red, pinhead rash develops, typically, first appearing on the chest and stomach, then rapidly spreading to other parts of the body, and giving the skin a sandpaper-like texture. The scarlet rash may be harder to spot on darker skin, although the ‘sandpaper’ feel should be present. Patients typically have flushed cheeks and pallor around the mouth. This may be accompanied by a ‘strawberry tongue’. As the child improves peeling of the skin can occur.

If you suspect your child could have Scarlet Fever, please

  • Seek advice from their general practitioner.
  • Keep your child off school and seek advice from the doctor as to how long your child should be off.
  • Inform school of any diagnosis and absence.

What we are already doing:

  • Encouraging children and staff to implement good hand hygiene
  • Encouraging staff, children to implement good respiratory hygiene
  • Children and staff are reminded that all scrapes or wounds, especially bites, should be thoroughly cleaned and covered.
  • Maintaining good ventilation in the setting.
  • Carrying out enhanced cleaning, to help reduce transmission.

If you suspect your child has Scarlet Fever, it is important that you let school know as soon as you can. This early notification would support us in taking any necessary precautions to avoid further spread.

Kind regards,

Mrs Tomlinson